As I blogged after the easter holidays I recently saw my first Butoh performance in Berlin, during the holiday. Lots of my friends love it and it seems much more present/popular out there (maybe this is just my impression as I am outside of London - meaning slightly different dance world view).
During the last two weeks of term, in first and second year, we have workshops in the afternoons. And guess what we got this year? Only Butoh!
I was interested to find out more and see what all the fuss was about, while also worried that I was going to find it a bit to weird and movement less...
And after a week I agree with my Berlin friends - Butoh is brilliant! Over all I think second years have enjoyed the experience a lot more than we expected, me included. It has been a lot more intense and physically challenging that I expected.
Butoh uses time in a very different way. For example, one task was to go to the floor, from standing, over seven minutes. Try it. Its hard!! Especially if you try to keep the movement constant, and consistent in its speed, with no visible signs of tension or 'work'.
Another method in Butoh is to use a lot of imagery, and really try to find the feeling of these images from within. This creates a very different, interesting kind of movement and as a dancer of Butoh it creates very intense sensations - and the possibility to get completely lost in the image.
I think part if the enjoyment is down to the skill of teaching of our guest teacher Marie-Gabrielle Roti (check her out on you tube), who obviously lives a Butoh life, is highly skilled in her art and articulate with her body, but delivers the class to us with a strong sense of normality and an awareness that this experience/Butoh in general, can seem a little bit wacky.
One of the best things I saw this weekend was one of the boys', Alex, facebook status. It said 'likes Butoh and feels like it has changed his life...' This made me very happy.